Monday, June 25, 2007
Many of us weren't sure what to expect as we rode the bus to the Yarkon sports complex in Petach Tikva, and more than a few were a bit pessimistic about what the showing might be. What ensued can only be described as a complete success. Over four thousand people were said to have attended, with 3,100 passing through the turnstile until they decided to open it up to everyone who was outside and waiting to get in.
The atmosphere was one of excitement, curiosity, and a bit of baseball ignorance - many of the people in attendance had never seen baseball before, but steps had been taken to make fans of all levels comfortable for opening night. A live play-by-play announcer kept the fans informed about what was going on with the actual game, something that came as a minor annoyance to us players; however, this was more than offset by the benefit that the Israeli fans were getting through better understanding of the game.
The Modi'in Miracle won the game, 9-1, and the game saw the first-ever home run in the IBL, a shot over the left field fence by Ryan Crotin. The offensive display by Modi'in kept the fans in the game, and hopefully many will return for the rest of the season's games.
Netanya's first game is tonight at 6:00pm at Gezer Field, against the scrappy Bet Shemesh Blue Sox. Report to follow...